Entrepreneurs heading agencies, or even startups are well aware of advertising agency challenges and always think of creating flourishing businesses where they can spend their days creating beautiful things that help clients grow their businesses. Nevertheless, the creative agency model of business never comes without its own challenges.
As an entrepreneur, you might love what you make, such as crafting elegant design projects that suit your client’s preferences. But, at the same time you could be stuck responding to mails, worrying about revenue and pouring through spreadsheets.
This blog has summed up some of the biggest problems you are likely to face if you are heading a creative agency, along with some tips to help solve them.
Choosing the Right Talent
Design agencies and service-based businesses sell the ‘hard work’ of their talented professionals. The agencies make arbitrage on talent by charging a markup on the time consumed by the designers. The designer’s talent is what an agency counts on! Also, it is never easy to justify a profitable price if the talent is poor. The quality of the team members is what sets apart an agency from the other, which further makes retaining and acquiring talented professionals – indispensable to an organisation.
Retaining Quality Talent
It is essential to open your borders and not limit the applicants just to your geographical area. The upside is that you get access to a bigger pool of applicants. There could be many challenges, which come with the chore of managing remote workers, but these challenges might be worth the trouble.
Try paying a fair rate. People who are talented know their worth and expect to be compensated for what they bring to the table. If employees feel that they are underpaid, there are high chances that they could produce unsatisfactory work. Incremental raises in the remuneration can remind an employee of how much you value his/her labor. Listen to your employee’s idea and make them feel valued! Brushing off their suggestions, or not taking their grievances can drastically reduce your company’s work output.
What Makes Your Agency Stand Out?
The model of creative agency usually has a poor barrier to entry. It might be easier for a group of people to get together and portray themselves as an ‘agency’. For continuous success, an agency must gauge its way out to stand apart from the crowd. Most of the agencies these days claim that they offer ‘powerful ideas’, ‘integrated approach’, and ‘full service’, but that might not give you an edge over the competition.
The initial step to making your agency a success is understanding yourself. Whom do you target? How do you think to serve your customers and price your services? In case you have been building websites for brick-and-mortar businesses, this could turn out to be your niche. Focus on a narrower enterprise, instead of building random business sites. This can help you communicate and add more value to your customers.
Make a commitment to bettering your core strengths. This could mean sticking to corporate design or print design. Creating a process carefully that insulates the client from tedious work. Gather information like logins, colors, contact information and preferences all in one go, without dripping questions on the client. Create relationships with contractors so that you can provide work for your client, which isn’t your specialty. Take a unique position on all projects, such as introducing pricing models, which will appeal to your target audience. Be an industry thought leader, and do all that can position your agency as an expert. The ideal way of differentiating yourself is figuring out what your clients value the most and striving to be that!
Creative agencies overlook the type of processes they are used to while managing projects. Though they don’t want to think in terms of structure, the result is that they end up with little processes. The inability to effectively manage projects can negatively impact an agency’s progress
A strong mindset is what you need for an excellent process. Every team member needs to understand the purpose and benefit of a project management system. Also, you need the right tool which you can use conveniently. Try experimenting with tools like Basecamp and Trello for tracking project status. Arrange your process so that the work done is flawless, sans any miscommunications and interruptions. Use tools like Quick Reviewer to track reviews and feedback on creatives so you can deliver projects faster. Using tools and processes will help free up your time to focus on creativity and new clients as opposed to firefighting, tracking feedback and project status. Start a project with a proposal, statement of work and then the full phase of the project. To ensure that there aren’t any deadlines or confusions, it is better to make the project transparent and visible to everyone.
The habit of sending out proposals and marketing your agency should never be stopped. Your aim should be to seek more revenue, even when enough money is flowing. Always remember that an enterprise that isn’t growing is dying. Also, convince your clients to pay for regular services. In most of the cases, you might earn less in an hour, but predictable income will help grow your business grow smoother.
The first step in lead generation is to turn to clients who are fit for your agency. To confirm the same, you will have to start doing some research to find out who your targets are. Interview the best clients that you have already, and make a rough sketch of their background and goals. Also, try to know where they spend their time online and the processes they go through prior to hiring an agency. In this manner, you get to know more about the target prospects, and thereafter you can mould your marketing campaign accordingly.
Creative agencies need to streamline their process to put more resources into pruning their client book. Challenges can never be tackled with luck or the right client group! Approaching problems objectively can help you counter the challenges systematically. At Clavis Technologies, we provide custom software solutions that can save time. We help you focus on your core competence and help organise your workflow with custom automation and software solutions.
For a creative agency, embarking on a new business idea is not often easy, nor effective. The increasing competition and the pressure to pitch rigorously – all add to the existing problems faced by creative agencies. This blog is an attempt to draw light upon such issues and address them in an effective way.